Biography and Artistic Approach – Devita Stipek Writer

Long time Alaska painter Devita Stipek Writer is known for colorful and expressive murals and landscapes of Southeast Alaska painted directly from the scene.

Her work is in the collection of the Rasmuson Foundation and has been compared to the Canada “Group of Seven.”

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Devita Stipek Writer, at Juneau Artists Gallery, 2021
Devita Stipek Writer, 2021, at age 77.

Devita Factoids

  • Stipek Park” in Bothell, WA, is named after Devita’s Uncle. The clan traditionlly has an annual family reunion at Stipek Park.
  • She is blood-related to celebrated French painter François Boucher.
  • Alaska roots firmly embedded in the Nome Gold Rush. Great Grandfather Vaslov Stipek traveled from New York and settled in Nome in the late 1800’s.
  • The Carrie McLain Memorial Museum in Nome is named after her great aunt. Aunt Carrie was a pioneer schoolteacher and writer. Devita remembers Carrie McLain from family reunions.
  • Every year upwards of a million people experience Devita’s public work. Perhaps you are one of them.

After a promising start as a painter, in the early 1960’s Devita left art school to marry an Alaska fisherman. There followed a life of adventure, raising and homeschooling three children in fishing villages from Ketchikan to Kodiak eventually settling in the tiny, isolated fishing village of Elfin Cove on the wild outer coast of Southeast Alaska where they fished and operated the only general store between Sitka and Yakutat. Her husband was lost at sea shortly before Christmas, 1979.

Studios both in Juneau and at the family homestead on a remote island on the Inside Passage. Although not as active in the exhibition scene as she once was, awards continue to stalk her. In more recent years her work was selected by the Alaska State Museums for a traveling exhibit of Alaska Artists sponsored by the Rasmuson Foundation.

Artist Statement:

“Painting outdoors, directly from the scene, is still where it happens for me. As I’ve grown older, and facing the rigors of plein air painting in Alaska, I find that I may start a painting out doors, capturing the essence, and finish in the studio. My goal is not to reproduce a landscape as a photograph, rather to allow room for the viewer’s own imagination. Or as Van Gogh said, not so detailed you can stick your nose in, perhaps best seen from a certain distance. Color and movement, the smell of the salt air on a chill Alaska breeze. A single brushstroke an element unto itself. Traditional oils lend themselves to this in the astonishing way pure pigments refract light, a painting that changes even as the light in a room changes or as it catches your eye when you walk past. A painting with a life of its own.”

“I find myself attracted to the Post Impressionists, more particularly the Fauvists like Emil Nolde and Georges Rouault. As artists of old, append my work Soli Deo Gloria.”

About Me

Alaska Artist Devita Stipek WriterDevita Stipek Writer is an established Alaska landscape painter and muralist. An estimated one million people experience her public work every year. In 1964 she left art school to marry an Alaska fisherman. There followed a life of adventure, tragedy, and triumph.

Note: If you own an original oil painting by Devita that you would like to sell, please contact the artist.